Finding a whaling vessel

William Bradford, Whaleship NORTHERN LIGHT, oil painting, 1855. New Bedford Whaling Museum 1946.20. Vessel AS0503.

To find a whaling vessel, begin by searching its name in the Voyage or Vessel column in the Voyages database. If you do not know its name, search by whatever you have—a port, a master, a date—and browse the resulting set.

Once you have found a voyage for your vessel, note the VesselID. Clear all searches, then search for that VesselID in the VesselID column to find all records for the vessel.

Additional data columns

(Click to enlarge.)

Note that there are several columns of Vessel information that do not appear in the Voyages data viewer by default. If you are researching vessels, use the Show/Hide button to show the columns that might be of interest to you, for instance, Vessel, Rig, Date built, Place built, Tonnage, End, Crew List, and Logbook Repository.

Log books

For each voyage listed for your vessel, the Logbook Repository column will contain codes for the repositories (museums, libraries) that hold copies of the voyage’s log books. These codes are defined on the Repositories of Logbooks page.

To find any available log book data and voyage tracks, note the VoyageID for any voyage listed for your vessel and search for it in the VoyageID column in the AWOL database.

Crew lists

To find any available crew lists, note the VesselID from your Voyages search and search for it in the VesselID column in the Crew Lists database.

Other sources

Additional vessel information may be available in other online databases.